The ETJ is a designated buffer area located just outside of the city limits. Each municipality is afforded an ETJ by the Texas Local Government Code as a method of defining potential growth and future service boundaries. An ETJ boundary cannot overlap with another municipality’s ETJ, and property owners can not elect which boundary they want to be part of, unless mutually agreed upon by the municipalities.
As of 2018, the City of Pflugerville encompasses 24.5 sq.mi. and has 39.7 sq.mi in the ETJ.
What is the Extent of an ETJ?
The extent of an ETJ is dependent on the population size of the municipality. A municipality’s population only incorporates those within the City Limits and does not include the residents within the ETJ. An ETJ can extend as little as ½ mile (less than 5,000 inhabitants) or as much as 5 miles (100,000 inhabitants or more). Until just recently, the City of Pflugerville has maintained a 2-mile ETJ (25,000 to 49,000 inhabitants).
What is regulated in the City of Pflugerville ETJ?
- Land division is regulated through the Subdivision Process
- The fireworks ban is regulated up to 5,000 ft. from the City Limits
- Tree preservation requirements are enforced up to 5,000 ft from the City Limits
- The city may abate any public nuisance in the ETJ if it is a danger to the public health. Such nuisances typically consist of dumping, noxious odors, and junk vehicles.
What is NOT regulated in the City of Pflugerville ETJ?
- Zoning or land use
- City Ordinances with the exception of the Subdivision Process outlined in Subchapter 15 of the Unified Development Code and Nuisance Ordinances.
What services are provided in the ETJ?
- County Sheriff and Law Enforcement
- Fire and Emergency Services - primarily Travis County ESD #2
- County Road Maintenance and Service
- Waste Disposal and recycling is available but not mandatory through the City’s contract
How is an Agricultural Development Agreement regulated in the ETJ?
As afforded to municipalities through legislation within the Texas Local Government Code, municipalities can make a non-annexation agreement with land owner’s in the ETJ to continue the current agricultural, wildlife management or timber cultivation use, with an allowance for the City to impose municipal regulations on the property, provided they do not interfere with the agricultural uses. The agreement also allows the City to annex the property if the landowner decides to change the use to something other than agriculture or decides to subdivide the property.